By this time we all have read up on the “Missing Girls” case that is running rampant in the D.C area. I know I personally heard at least three different versions of the same topic ranging anywhere from 14-26 girls missing over a course of what started as a week, to now what is being claimed as one day.
However, the problem with this story, and the reason news isn’t exactly reporting on the matter is because a lot of it is simply not true. I grew up in Maryland, no more than 20 minutes out of D.C. I associated with people that were close to individuals that have at one point went “missing” and make headlines just like the current. Except, a lot of them weren’t really missing at all.
They’re “runaways”, babies of drug addicts that have no value outside of a trade for a hit, or in even more frightening cases, pawns for sex trafficking. Personally, I’ve encountered many youth that suffered from homelessness due to the negligence of their very own parents. Some even chose to leave and try to make a life on their own, avoiding foster care because in many cases, that option is simply too uncertain and far from safe.
According to police reports and missing person’s files, on average nearly 2,330 children go missing annually in the Washington D.C area. Within the last 2 years, 99 percent of the children were found, and of those found, 59% are running away from difficult situations at home.
Situations such as this in times of racial turmoil make it impossible for detectives, police officers, or any officials to look like good guys that are honestly trying to help. Why? Simply stated, everyone is looking for proof that racism is alive and well especially within the AA community. But sometimes we tend to jump the gun with this chip on our shoulder and run with whatever information we’re given before we even check the facts, the numbers, or even associate ourselves with the sources.
This isn’t to say that there isn’t an issue with missing children cases. Even if 99% out of the 2,242 (6 children a day) children that went missing last year were found, that is still far too many. I feel if the energy the public puts into blaming officials for not doing their job to “their satisfaction” was channeled into solving family issues at home or providing safer systems for troubled youth, the amount of “missing children” cases could drastically decrease leaving room for police to actually find the kids who need and want to be found and return to a home were they are loved and truly missed.
Written By: Raven Noelle